The Gender Pay Gap Regulations were introduced in April 2017, and required large private and voluntary sector employers (i.e. those with 250 employees or more) in England, Wales and Scotland to take a snapshot of pay and bonuses as at 5 April 2017 (31 March 2017 for public sector organisations), then publish a report on their own and government websites within 12 months indicating the differences between the average pay and bonuses of male and female employees, as well as an assessment of male and female employees within each quartile of the organisation. With that deadline fast approaching, many employers to whom the regulations apply will have collated the relevant pay data and now be wondering how best to present the information.
The regulations adopt a standardised method of measuring the gender pay gap so that the published figures can be compared across employers and sectors. The required information is as follows:
- the difference between the mean hourly rate of pay between male full-pay relevant employees and female full-pay relevant employees in the pay period within which the snapshot date falls (and the anniversary of that date thereafter);
- the difference between the median hourly rate of pay between male full-pay relevant employees and female full-pay relevant employees in the pay period within which the snapshot date falls (and the anniversary of that date thereafter);
- the difference between the mean bonus pay paid to male relevant employees and that paid to female relevant employees during the period of 12 months ending on the snapshot date (and on the anniversary of that date thereafter);
- the difference between the median bonus pay paid to male relevant employees and that paid to female relevant employees during the period of 12 months ending on the snapshot date (and on the anniversary of that date thereafter);
- the proportions of male and female relevant employees who were paid bonus pay during the period of 12 months ending on the snapshot date (and on the anniversary of that date thereafter); and
- the proportions of male and female full-pay relevant employees who were in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands based on hourly rates of pay in the pay period within which the snapshot date falls (and the anniversary of that date thereafter).
The corresponding Acas guidance indicates that these percentage and proportion figures should be rounded to one decimal point. It’s worth pointing out that none of these measures requires publication of the actual figures, i.e. the information to be published is the percentage difference in pay or the proportion of male and female employees rather than specific rates of pay. This avoids the publication of commercially sensitive pay figures such as the lowest and highest gross hourly rates of pay or total number of employees.
Regarding the manner and form of publication of the above information, it must be accompanied by a written statement confirming that the information is accurate and this must be signed by an appropriate senior person. The identity of the signatory depends upon the type of employer, as set out in the table below:
|EMPLOYER’S LEGAL STATUS||REQUIRED SIGNATORY|
|Body corporate other than a limited liability partnership||A director (or equivalent)|
|Limited liability partnership||A designated member|
|Limited partnership registered under the Limited Partnerships Act 1907||A general partner|
|Any other kind of partnership||A general partner|
|Unincorporated body of persons other than a partnership||A member of the governing body or a senior officer|
|Any other type of body||The most senior employee|
The required information and signed statement must then be published on the employer’s website in a manner accessible to all employees and the public by 4 April 2018 and retained for 3 years. The following will also need to be published on a dedicated section of the Government’s website:
- the required gender pay gap information; and
- the name and job title of the person who signed the written statement confirming the accuracy of the information.
There’s also a section on the same website where pay gap information pertaining to other employers can be viewed and searched (see here).
As to what the statement should look like, Acas has produced a template (see here). Many of the statements already published don’t deviate from this to any great extent, whereas others are more creative / original.
If you are an employer concerned about compliance with your obligations as they relate to the gender pay gap reporting process, please don’t hesitate to contact us in confidence and without obligation for an initial discussion. We can undertake a preliminary audit / fact finding exercise to test the data gathering process, uncover any potential exposure and assist you in putting measures in place to reduce any gender pay gap identified. We can also undertake the gender pay gap audit itself as well as assisting you with the publication of the results and fulfilment of your ongoing mandatory reporting obligations.